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Backyard Burner Barbie-Q - Recipes that sizzle.Views: 412
Jun 18, 2009 8:38 pm BJs Summer Recipes - Cool & Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Bobbi Jo Woods
I like to make this in the summertime to have on hand for those days when cooking lunch is too time-consuming and I'm tired of sandwiches for quick fuel. It's nice to be able to just pull this out of the fridge and enjoy a dish of cool tasty pasta salad with veggies!

Meat and cheese optional, if you are trying to watch your calories/fat, but if it's all you're having for lunch, you'll need some protein. Have some cold deli-sliced turkey on the side, or toss some of your favorite beans (cooked, drained, chilled) into the salad.


* 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
* 1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
* 1 (16 ounce) package pasta (macaroni shells, elbows, rotini)
* 8 oz Italian salad dressing (I use Kraft Fat Free Italian)
* 1 cup shredded carrots
* 3 tomatoes, diced (or cherry/grape tomatoes, halved)
* Can of pitted, sliced black olives
* Pepperoni or salami, diced (I use Turkey Pepperoni for less fat/sodium)
* 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)


Blanch or steam broccoli and cauliflower florets until slightly tender but still brightly colored. Place broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl. Set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and return the water to a boil. Let cook until the pasta is al dente, drain well.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the Italian dressing with the hot macaroni (super secret tip for best flavor!). Next, mix in the carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After the pasta and vegetables have been chilling for 30 minutes, take it out and give it a stir. Return to the refrigerator overnight - OR - if serving same day, chill for at least another 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cheese before serving.

Serving size: 1 cup.

Tip: Don't use frozen or canned veggies for this, because they will wind up mushy and tasteless in this dish. Save those for on the side of steak and baked potato one night, or for tossing into soups, casseroles, etc.

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